This last weekend saw the return of The Blue Train to Victoria Falls for the first time since 2002 in a trial run for this famous luxury railway experience to once again include the destination as an extension to its traditional Cape Town and Pretoria route.
As time meandered from the 19th Century towards the dawn of the new era, a dream was born. A dream of harnessing steam technology to link Africa’s vast south to north, around the awe-inspiring mountain ranges that dot the continent, through the apparently arid desert landscapes, over untamed savannah grasslands teeming with wildlife. From the Cape all the way to Cairo… all of this on parallel lines of tempered steel. It is from this dream that The Blue Train was born and whilst Cairo was never to be, the dreamers persevered and The Blue Train quickly became famous for its routes through Southern Africa, allowing guests on board to experience its breath-taking scenery in a manner that befits the mystique that has grown around it.
The Blue Train defined a new era of luxury travel, making swift the switch from steam to electric to diesel, linking the veld to sea, tradition to progress, with a sense of style, and grace. A coat of royal blue and cream would later give the trains their dinstinctive livery, and it was from this line, in these shades, that The Blue Train – a “Palace on Wheels” – would ride the rails to legend.
In 1997, a new Blue Train was introduced and its traditional route between Cape Town and Pretoria was extended northwards to the Victoria Falls. The service was withdrawn in 2002, but all going well, following this last weekend’s trial run, we could be likely to see The Blue Train returning to Victoria Falls on a regular schedule commencing as early as 2023.
This is a wonderful acknowledgement of the destination’s readiness for recovery, and we all look forward to welcoming The Blue Train and it’s guests back to our destination in the not too distant future.